Objectives: To validate a new device (PiCCO system; Pulsion Medical Systems, Munich, Germany), we compared cardiac index derived from transpulmonary thermodilution and from pulse contour analysis in pediatric patients after surgery for congenital heart disease. We performed a prospective clinical study in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit of a university hospital.
Methods: Twenty-four patients who had had cardiac surgery for congenital heart disease (median age 4.2 years, range 1.4-15.2 years) were investigated in the first 24 hours after admission to the intensive care unit. A 3F thermodilution catheter was inserted in the femoral artery. Intracardiac shunts were excluded by echocardiography intraoperatively or postoperatively. Cardiac index derived from pulse contour analysis was documented in each patient 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 hours after admission to the intensive care unit. Subsequently, a set of three measurements of thermodilution cardiac indices derived by injections into a central venous line was performed and calculated by the PiCCO system.
Results: The mean bias between cardiac indices derived by thermodilution and those derived by pulse contour analysis over all data points was 0.05 (SD 0.4) L x min x m(-2) (95% confidence interval 0.01-0.10). A strong correlation between thermodilution and contour analysis cardiac indices was calculated (Pearson correlation coefficient r = 0.93; coefficient of determination r2 = 0.86).
Conclusions: Pulse contour analysis is a suitable method to monitor cardiac index over a wide range of indices after surgery for congenital heart disease in pediatric patients. Pulse contour analysis allows online monitoring of cardiac index. The PiCCO device can be recalibrated with the integrated transpulmonary thermodilution within a short time frame.